Erin by Illusions Designs 

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Erin by Illusions Designs

Copyright Vicky Graham, Published by Fanta Cat Designs 2002.

Illusions Designs Fanta Cat Designs

Erin by Illusions Designs

Chart: The chart is print on a folded A3 sheet of paper. Most of the chart is line-work so the only issue is the dragon and pendant. These are stitched in blocks of solid colour, so although the chart is hand-drawn, the symbols are large enough for each section to be easily distinguished. On first perusal there doesn’t seem to be errors in the charting of the linework as there was in Rhiannon.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, fractional stitches and backstitch. A whole lotta backstitch.

Materials: DMC stranded cottons, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Braid and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on Zweigart 26ct “White” Brittany.

Designer’s Notes: None

Why I was attracted to this design: I love these character studies. These portraits in pencil with a focused section to draw the eye. They stitch up so fast and look stunning when completed.  Rhiannon is always on of the pieces most coveted when I take my roll of finishes to show and tell.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I stash faster than I stitch.  I also have pretty much all of this series in my stash and could not decide which one to start first. At least this way the decision has been made for me.

Where can you buy it? Both Illusions Designs and Fanta Cat designs are now out of business.  Although Illusions was selling on eBay a couple of years ago, so I’m hoping Vicky might pop back up there or on Etsy sometime in the future.  Letha of Fanta Cat moved interstate a few years ago and struggled to re-setup the business after the move. Hopefully one day one or both of these women returns as these are beautiful designs!  For now I would scope out LNS or ONS that carry older stock or try the ubiquitous eBay.  Conversely – prod me into starting this soon – it is a fast stitch and I have most of the supplies on hand (subbing white 28ct Cashel for the 26ct Brittany).

Discussion questions: The more I look at this design, the more the perspective looks a little off. The dragon doesn’t seem to be on the same axis as the rest of her head. What’s going on with the back of her neck? Is that line going up through the dragon’s tail loop supposed to be the back of her hair pulled up into a pony tail?

Have you ever loved a design and then felt more critical the more you looked at it? My answer in this case is to stop looking at it as I still love the design and will still stitch it as is.  But there are some definite flaws in the flow of the lines and the perspective. Would you have the confidence to try to “fix” the flaws or would you leave them as this, as this is the artist’s vision.